Mother Power: A Birth Story Memory For Luis Manuel

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I had my baby in a hospital with a mid-wife and not the dicky doctor who was there harassing me at the end of his shift.

“According to your chart, you’ve been stuck at five centimeters for quite sometime.” He hung the clipboard back onto the hook somewhere near the foot the bed. “I’m going to recommend again that you take the Pitocin.

He knew I didn’t want it, kept checking his watch, eager to get off the clock and home to his Thanksgiving dinner. Who could blame him?

I had been laboring naked on my hands and knees just fine before he came in and now my resolve was beginning to cave.

“Give us a minute,” Ines said to the doctor, dismissing him from the room. “You can do it, Michelle. The mid-wife will be here soon. You don’t need that stuff.” He rubbed my arm and looked me in the eye.

I nodded and he was right. Raewyn breezed in all lightness and air, and she got me out of that bed. She wanted me off my back because that’s no way to labor. She wanted me on my feet where gravity could do its work. She put me in the shower and directed Ines, to spray my hard, stretch mark-lined belly with hot water, telling me to sit on the tool in the shower, whenever a strong contraction took hold. They used natural forces to encourage my body to do its job. My cervix, went from five to eight centimeters dilation in thirty minutes.

I was feeling strong again and prepared, feeling in the room of hospital sounds and encouragement and somewhere else at the same time, and I pushed that little baby out into the world sometime after midnight.

After delivering the placenta and resting and holding the thick, black-haired nene to my breast, the nurses helped me to my feet so I could use the bathroom. One nurse guided me by the arm to make sure I didn’t faint or fall on the way. The bathroom was several steps from the bed and once inside a large bloody mass the size of the baby’s head came flying out of me, bouncing lightly on the floor, resting somewhere near the sink.

“Oh, that’s okay, don’t worry about that,” the nurse chirped, releasing my arm to grab for some towels to clean the mess up and avoid embarrassment. “That’s normal,” she continued.

I nodded and smiled, unfazed, unafraid of my body, and still high from my new mother power.

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